In the electroplating industry there is a need to provide top quality gold plating for literally thousands of components per day. These components, or parts, can range from the smallest connectors and contacts to larger components, but all need to have very specific product reliability requirements, many which may exceed current industry standards.
Depending on the type of parts or components which are going through the gold plating process different options may be used. The two most common options are barrel or rack plating, and both have their advantages to consider. There is also a third option, known as vibratory plating, which also provides a viable option for a number of different specific plating requirements.
Barrel gold plating is one of the most versatile plating options for small to medium sized parts which are not delicate or do not have exposed threads or unusual shapes. The tumbling and rubbing in the barrel can damage some parts or features on parts, which is one important caution.
In this process the parts are placed in a large bin, called a barrel, which is then submerged in the plating solution. The entire barrel is then turned in a continual fashion, ensuring all parts are equality coated in the barrel.
This is the most effective option for large orders or when it is essential to minimize the cost of the plating processes.
Rack Gold Plating
Rack gold plating is typically used for medium to large parts which are too delicate or have a very unusual shape or feature which is not a good match for barrel plating. In this process each part is manually loaded into a specially designed and coated rack which is then dipped into the plating solution.
The parts or components must be manually removed from the rack, slightly extending the processing time on these types of orders.
For very small, delicate parts which require gold plating vibratory plating is the best option. A smaller basket is filled with the plating solution as well as the tiny parts. A vibration generator is used to move the solution and the parts without the aggressive tumbling found in the barrel plating method.
Talking with the company providing gold plating is essential to ensure the plating method used is the correct option given the size of the part, the delicate natural of the part and the overall cost of the plating process.
At PEP General Metal Finishing we have the experience and expertise to ensure the right gold plating is used on every order. To learn more about our processes visit us online at www.pepgenmetal.com.